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I have to take fine arts at my school, but which should I choose if I want to be a doctor? Does it matter at all?

My school has a fine arts requirement to graduate. I would like to become a doctor and am not very interested in art. What genre of classes are best for my situation? My school offers choir, band, orchestra, theatre arts, visual arts, dance, technical theatre, and art history at various levels and subgenres. Does it even matter that much and should I choose any of them? This is high school, by the way!

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Karissa’s Answer

Sculpting. You may want to be a surgeon and having fine motor skills is important.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Lily
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Joel’s Answer

Life Drawing seems like a good fit.
Thank you comment icon Nice suggestion, Joel! Can you give a little more info around your suggestion? Sharyn Grose, Admin
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Lily !

Of the courses that you've mentioned that your school offers, I would say theatre arts if it is an acting class because in medical school you will be required to give verbal presentations and present things. If all of the courses you've mentioned are just "history of" type classes, you should just go with the one you like best. If one of the sub-genres is an acting class, I would suggest that because you will get used to being in front of a group doing scenes. Maybe you can find a scene to do where you play a doctor. If your school has a fine arts requirement in order to graduate, yes, you do have to pick one and pick one that will balance with your other courses, not require lab hours or too much work outside of the classroom in addition to reading a textbook.

If you're not very interested in art, I would suggest not taking any hands on course that will require you to draw, paint, create, etc. because if you have no interest and are not skilled, it could be frustrating for you. I would stick with either a history based art class or the acting. I know that Introduction to Theatre at my college required work outside of class. Read your choices course descriptions and I think you can come up with something. Whatever you choose, remember that it will allow you to get your diploma/degree. The most unrelated course I had to take to fulfill a general ed requirement while I was a theatre major was Biology In Society (plant biology). So we all have to take at least one course that seems far away from our major but it can provide you with personal growth.

Pick something you will enjoy and have fun !
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Lily
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Lily ! Michelle M.
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Pamela’s Answer

Hi Lily,
- First of all, consider yourself very lucky that your school offers fine arts! Many schools can’t afford to offer music, theater or arts. Embrace and enjoy the gift!
- Second, most people (especially medical professionals!) find they enjoy some type of fine arts as a hobby and a way to relax after a long day caring for patients. It does feed your soul! You don’t have to be great at it, just pick something you might this is fun and give it a try.
- Finally, med schools and residency programs look for well-rounded humans in their application pool: if all you do is study chem, bio and physics, you won’t be a candidate that they want to attract. They look favorably on applicants who have interests and talents outside of just book smarts.
Hope this was helpful!
Pam
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice! ❤️ Lily
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Warren’s Answer

Judging from the information you've given, it seems like you're still navigating your high school journey, possibly in 9th or 10th grade, and yet to fulfill your fine arts requirement. Don't stress about your choice of fine arts subject. Why? Because your career aspirations will likely evolve numerous times before you even have to decide on a major in college, apply for postgraduate programs, or land your first job.

Remember, no single class in high school will significantly impact your career, especially if you're considering a medical path. What's truly important during these years is developing effective strategies for success across all your subjects. This includes mastering test preparation, honing your writing skills, and managing your time efficiently for various projects.

As for your fine arts class, pick something that either sparks joy or at least won't give you a headache. Approach it with the same dedication and focus you apply to your other classes, and it could become another shining 'A' on your transcript and a memorable experience. Even if things don't go as planned, remember every experience is a stepping stone to learning and growth. So, go ahead, embrace the journey, and let your high school years be a time of exploration and discovery.
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Lily
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Madison’s Answer

Choose whatever you’re most interested in! These are unlikely to change your medical school application significantly if at all.
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Ellen’s Answer

Hi Lili
This is such an interesting question! As a retired art teacher, I'll answer from the perspective of visual arts. I feel that everyone should have some experience in the visual arts, no matter what career path they plan to follow.

For your interest in medicine, I think some experience in the visual arts would be especially beneficial. Depending on where you want to specialize in medicine, there is often a certain amount of hand skills involved: giving shots, taking cultures for testing, stitching up cuts, manipulating body parts, conducting experiments in a lab, setting broken bones, performing all kinds of surgery, or restoring damaged body parts through plastic surgery, are just a few examples. Art classes will give you experience in using your hands to create artworks, and getting comfortable using your hands would be a bonus. I have heard of plastic surgeons who have hobbies in making ceramic art work, and it makes so much sense.

Also, in certain areas of medicine, observing what is going on with a patient is also important. Art classes in drawing or painting or sculpture teach you to observe a subject carefully, and to be sensitive to coloration, shape, and proportions of objects. Observing the change of color of a patient's skin during an illness, or reading X-rays or other imaging results, and assessing all types of bodily injuries with swelling or bruises, are a few examples.

So, my suggestion would be to take a course in 2-D or 3-D art. Drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture would all be helpful to your future career. Don't worry is you don't feel you are "good" at art. In any art class, just do your best; work hard, follow the lesson directions and let your art teacher know why you are taking the art class. I know they will respect you and will be happy to have you in their class. I would be! And you might enjoy making art more than you thought you would. And kudos to your school for this requirement. :)

I hope this helps. Best wishes!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Lily
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Madison’s Answer

For medical school, you only need to complete the med school pre-rec classes. These usually include certain numbers of bio/chem/orgo/physics/anatomy. Check on the medical school application website for detail of pre-recs or with your advisor. You can complete these classes while having a major in ANY topic you wanted but may take you longer than someone who majors in a science but absolutely possible. You could major in history for example and still take all of these classes but may need to plan this out time wise with your advisor.
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